Fiction Inferno: The literary magazine that burns you up

Fiction Inferno

The Literary Magazine That Makes You Hot

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Hey! Welcome to the Blog of Eternal Damnation! Here's where you will see all the latest crap about the Web's hottest Speculative Fiction ezine, Bambi's Eschatological Underpinnings. And every now and again, just for sport, we just might include a little bit about Fiction Inferno: the Literary Magazine that Burns You Up.

Monday, December 30, 2002

In No Particular Order:

Iggy Pop and the Stooges
The Velvet Underground
The Pretenders
Siouxsie and the Banshees
The Clash
The Sex Pistols
David Bowie
The Kinks
Patti Smith
The Ramones
Neil Young
Jethro Tull
King Crimson
Elvis Costello
The Police
The Trogs
The Talking Heads
Roland Kirk

Anybody Else?

posted by Max E. Keele 12:52 PM

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Also explained by theory outlined below:

Ever wake up to find your world just a little bit different from the way you left it? Maybe you could swear that you turned off the living room lights, but there they are, blazing away like glory itself? Or perhaps you discover in conversation with someone from your distant past that a favorite story didn't happen the way you remember it? Is it possible that the version of YOU that went to bed died peacefully in the night? And YOU now live in a reality just a little bit different from the one you are most familiar with? Hmm?

posted by Max E. Keele 9:10 AM

Friday, December 27, 2002

Suppose, for a minute, that this is true:

  • There are an infinite number of alternate realities, in which anything that is possible happens somewhere. For instance, YOU just coughed. In an infinite number of realities, YOU cough; in another infinite number YOU don't; in still another set, the cough bursts a vessel in your head and YOU die instantly.

  • In every iteration where YOU die, the spark of your consciousness merges with the nearest variant where YOU did not die.

  • Your consciousness is not aware of this, but it happens every time a variant of YOU dies.

  • At every moment of your life, however long, the possibility exists that YOU die. So your lifeline looks like cone--at birth, all your possible infinities of moments exist together. With each passing moment, an infinite number of your possible selves destructs, diverting the dying consciousnesses into a ever diminishing set of infinities. Until it reaches a point.

  • There is a vanishingly tiny chance that YOU will live forever. Perhaps a one-in-a-trillion twist of your genes. Perhaps the makers of Crest discover an immortality serum in one reality, which they sell for $2.99 at the corner drug. Perhaps there is a one in 400 quintillion chance that an alien virus will strike the Earth, survive the atmosphere, and pentrate into your skull, granting YOU full immunity to death. Perhaps this is so small a chance that it is the tiniest infinite set of all the possiblities of your life.

  • As the consciousness entities of YOU condense, perhaps YOU grow more wise. We can hope.

  • At last there is, for everyone, every consciousness, an immortality. Even those who have already departed the particular reality that contains YOU, now.

Regardless, happy new year! May 2003 be the best reality for YOU yet!

posted by Max E. Keele 1:06 PM

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Oh Yeah.

and I hope you all have simply fabulous, wonderous, intoxicating,

Happy Holidays!

posted by Max E. Keele 8:59 AM

Moira Allen, the former managing editor of Inklings and Inkspot, has written an interesting article for those who have just decided their fiction should be published. Some good advice here, but 'though anybody who's been doing this writing thang for more than a little while has heard it all before, it's good to get a reminder once and a while. Ms. Allen did a good job of putting it together. She interviewed an impressive cross-section of editors (including the world famous editor of Fiction Inferno) and managed to snag a decent sound-bite from each.

One of my favorite quotes, this from Tony Venables of Ad Hoc: "Writers need to understand that they have to earn their audience, to make their audience feel it's worthwhile to read their work. This does not mean pandering to populist ideas or sugar coating what you have to say -- it means not choosing to be boring."

The entire thing is available for FREE at Writing World. I recommend it.

posted by Max E. Keele 8:56 AM

Monday, December 23, 2002

"This is a Public Service Announcement.................
...............with Guitar"

Joe Strummer, 1952--2002

R. I. P.

posted by Max E. Keele 10:19 AM

Saturday, December 21, 2002


A Cheer to the End of Time

The Clock ticks, three strokes to midnight.

"A toast, then," he says, with the last of the confetti drifting about his head like snowflakes unwilling to concede the spring. "To the End of Time!" Champagne sparkles and hisses.

"The end," they all murmur, as one, but without enthusiasm. No one drinks but a single symbolic sip.

A grin splits his face; he tosses his drink in one great gulp. "Oh come now. Surely we've gotten past this maudlin nostalgia." He smashes his empty glass to the floor. They twitch as if slapped by tiny hands. "Drink, you fools! The end will come whether you are sober or not!"

The Clock ticks, two strokes to midnight.

This they ponder, with all the puzzlement their dying brains can muster. And one takes hearty swig. Then another. Until the entire room is immersed in the tsunami chorus of a trillion tired swallows. And then explodes with a trillion shattered glasses.

He laughs so hard that his fuliginous top hat cants to one side, a drunken, ruined obelisk. He drinks straight from the rarest bottle left in the universe. "Okay!" His shout soars to center of everything.

The Clock ticks, one stroke to midnight.

The crowd looks to him with a sudden new expectation that surprises all: hope. But he only shrugs, indifferent and alone.

The Clock ti


More Very Short Stories Here

posted by Max E. Keele 9:08 AM

Monday, December 16, 2002

Oh man. Now THAT's some good eating chili.

posted by Max E. Keele 6:49 AM

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Who wants some chili?

  • 2 pounds of lean beef, cubed

  • 1 large Anaheim pepper, roasted

  • 2 medium Jalapino peppers, roasted

  • 2 large onions

  • 56 oz diced tomato

  • 16 oz Guinness Stout

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 5 tablespoons chili powder

  • 3 tablespoons cumin

  • salt & black pepper to taste

  • olive oil

  • beef stock (as needed)

  • 4-6 hours of applied heat

I'll let you know how it turns out....

posted by Max E. Keele 10:34 AM

Saturday, December 14, 2002


The Evil That Is Spam

Okay, I have come to expect a certain amount of spam. After all, I have six active email accounts, most of them posted on the internet, free for anybody to see, contact, or spider. This I do because I run a magazine, and I want people to email me. I want them to send me fiction, and send me comments, and send me money if the spirit so moves them. But you know what? 65% of the email I get in any given day is pure, unadulterated spam. Some dipshit in Nigeria trying to convince me that if I send him my bank account number he'll deposit $25 gagillion in it. Some tweaker that thinks I need a bigger wanker. Some brainless twit that thinks everybody with an email posted on the internet is a potential buyer for 1,000 lot toner cartridges, or low quality art prints, or PGH, PHP, PRC, or PCT (whatever the hell those things are).

As annoying as all that crap is, however, there is one continuous spam attack that really really really pisses me off. There is a company called Traffic Magnet that keeps trying to tell me that "TrafficMagnet ™ can help you achieve a top ranking on more than 300,000 search engines and directories!" This spam they send to any or all of my accounts. They send it to Today, they send one to me offering to submit my url to over 100,000 search engines! How cool is that? Except that:

  1. Spicy Green Iguana is a great site, but it ain't mine.

  2. In my day job, I am an internet marketing specialist at a major search engine marketing company. And I obviously know way more about this stuff than Traffic Magnet does.

  3. Submitting your url to 100,000 search engines will do you absolutely no good whatsoever. This I guarantee.

  4. If they're so smart about internet marketing strategies, why the hell are they using the vile, wicked, and universally despised technique of VIRAL EMAIL MARKETING?

  5. If this is legitimate business practice, why is the return email for the so-called Sarah Williams contact actually a bounce address?

  6. Oh yeah, and if you're so hot, how come Traffic Magnet comes up dead-nowhere in a Google search for "website search submitter"? or "search engine marketing"? or "search engine traffic"? Hmmm?

In a nutshell, TRAFFIC MAGNET! If you are out there listening, STOP SPAMMING ME.

Honestly though, anybody want to be on my mailing list?

posted by Max E. Keele 8:35 AM

Friday, December 06, 2002

Writer's Tip #65


Backfill is the technique of reporting events or histories that occurred prior to the action within a scene, intended to shed light on motivation or offer explanation for other aspects of plot or character. Backfill can be very effective, if used correctly. It can also be a distraction, a confusion, or a bore. Sometimes, backfill can help the writer understand character or narrative, but isn't necessary to the reader. Here's what I do sometimes: write a piece with all the backfill I can throw in: flashback to protagonist's junior high school trauma; insert brief historical sketch explaining the origins of toothpaste; long diatribe on the evolutionary process that resulted in protag's need to embarrass himself in front of women. Then, after the work is finished, I go back and cut out EVERYTHING that is unnecessary to the story. Then I read it again to see if I cut anything important. In the example, I'll keep the bit on evolution. It doesn't forward the story, really, but it's just so damned cute.

Ciao, baby.

posted by Max E. Keele 6:53 AM

Experimental Exposure Level Detector. If this counter reads 99,999 or higher, you have been exposed to a level of mutagenic particle emission that should cause priapism in men and low-level continuous orgasm in women. Please let me know if this is a problem for anyone.

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